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I have a new Lenovo laptop with a high pixel density screen running Windows 8.1. These are sometimes called "retina" or "hidpi" displays and they are becoming increasingly popular as LCD panel manufacturing matures. The problem is JOSM doesn't handle such displays gracefully. The text is so small as to be unreadable at 3200x1800 and the menus are crowded and overlap one another. Reducing the display resolution to something smaller, say 1920x1080, does not help — all text is too small and the menu system too crowded to see.

Is anyone else experiencing this? Is there a workaround? I looked at the JOSM Dev list and JOSM Trac site and found no references to this problem.

Thanks for any input you might have.

asked 24 May '14, 17:19

AlaskaDave's gravatar image

accept rate: 16%

This is a known Java problem which impacts JOSM:!closed&keywords=~high%20dpi (also tracked on )

changing the screen pixel count ("resolution") in the system should help as a bad workaround. The downside is that you would need to change it temporarily and that it will look blurry (e.g. at 1920x1080) or blocky (at 1800x900).

At we can see that at least for openJDK high dpi seems to get supported (I do not see if fully or partly) for version 9 (not sure when this will arrive in the oracle releases then). Don-vip (one of the JOSM developers) wrote "HiDPI Graphics on Windows and Linux is covered by ​JEP 263 and may be available in ​Java 9."

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answered 06 Dec '15, 12:30

aseerel4c26's gravatar image

aseerel4c26 ♦
accept rate: 18%

edited 06 Dec '15, 13:06

I resolved the problem through the use of two separate settings and thought I would pass this on so others might benefit.

First: right click on the screen, select Display, and set the screen resolution to 1920x1080 or something lower. The changed setting takes effect immediately for many newer Windows programs but you must convince JOSM to use it by first logging off and then logging back on. The default setting for text on these machines is set to the maximum (~200 %) at the factory so although the JOSM interface will appear more normal after the change the text in the sidebars and menus is now too big and overlaps the dialog box borders, etc.

Therefore the second step is to go to Control Panel>Appearance and Personalization>Display (right click on screen, select Personalization) and using the Change the size of all items slider reduce the size of the text to something less than maximum. I used the middle tick mark.

Things look much better and I can use JOSM on my new Lenovo Yoga 2 laptop.

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answered 25 May '14, 04:58

AlaskaDave's gravatar image

accept rate: 16%

I can't comment on Windows 8.1, but Windows 7 and previous versions used to allow sizing of text on the screen separately to the display resolution, via:

  • Right Click screen
  • Screen Resolution
  • "Making text and other items smaller or larger"

You may already have done this of course and JOSM may not be honouring it, though...

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answered 24 May '14, 17:53

SomeoneElse's gravatar image

SomeoneElse ♦
accept rate: 16%


My laptop is running at "max" text size already. I reckon what I'm looking for is some other way to tell JOSM that it's running in a high pixel environment.

(24 May '14, 23:13) AlaskaDave

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question asked: 24 May '14, 17:19

question was seen: 6,325 times

last updated: 06 Dec '15, 13:06

NOTICE: is no longer in use from 1st March 2024. Please use the OpenStreetMap Community Forum